Friday, September 19, 2014

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free, Low Salicylate, Low Oxalate, Low Histamine Pancakes!

Ok...that title sure is a mouthful lol! But it is all true. The one thing I didn't say is how good they taste and I have to say...they are delicious!  This blog post could also have had the title "the magic of the chickpea" because that is what these wonderful things are made of ...chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour, besan, gram flour)! Now...I know it might sound a little odd (for those of us not used to chickpeas) but they are so worth making!

Why did I add all that stuff about "free of this and low that" in the title? Well...I try to stay gluten free as much as possible (esp at home) and I've been experimenting with low oxalate, low histamine and low salicylate cooking because I've been having some physical issues and research led me to these 3. I know histamine is an issue and I really suspect that salicylates are as well. I'm less sure about oxalates but considering I had been eating/drinking high oxalate for some time, I thought it would be best to check those out as well. It hasn't been easy in terms of figuring out what I can eat but I'm determined to find out what is wrong with me! I have been doing a  ton of research and looking for recipes when I came across chickpea flour. I was thrilled when I realized that chickpea flour is low oxalate, low salicylate and low histamine!

If you are scratching your head about these 3 here are some resources to check out

Ok...on to the pancakes! Take a look at these!

This picture is from .

Don't they look great?! They are fabulous! And easy too! Here is the recipe . What I loved about them is after eating, my stomach still felt good and light...which is the opposite of how I usually feel after eating gluten free pancakes made from most mixes/recipes. I topped mine with a bit of butter (they can be dairy free if you don't cook with or add any butter) and pure maple syrup and omg! So good! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

OMG! This was soooo good!

Earlier this year, a friend told me about this great dish she made from the website  using spaghetti squash and she went on and on about how good it was and that it tasted cheesy but there wasn't any cheese in it etc etc. It sounded good but as Japan is very seasonal, getting spaghetti squash at that time was impossible.

Well, I found some and decided to make it. I really wasn't sure about it but holy cow! It is soooo amazing! And it is paleo, gluten free, grain free and dairy free!

It is called pizza spaghetti pie. Here is the picture from the site because sadly, my pictures looked horrible and I didn't want to scare you away from trying the recipe.
Picture from

Here is the link to the recipe.  The only change I made was instead of Italian sausage (as there isn't any where I live) I used a mix of ground pork and beef. It was still amazing! My husband loved it and asked for 2nds!

I sure hope you try it because I'm telling you it is so tasty!

Monday, August 18, 2014

There is a very good reason why I haven't blogged in a month....

I spent the last month busting my tush trying to build and stock our new and improved store . We opened this store about 6 years ago and for the first 4 years or so we were pretty happy with it. But then I was getting frustrated because there were features I really wanted but the company we were with didn't have them.

I kept looking for a new host for our site. I would even go on to the Etsy forums as I know people would ask other Etsy sellers for their advice about websites. Still nothing...until about a month ago.

Finally I found what I was looking for! We went with . They offered a 1 month free trial (no credit card needed) so I signed up. I loved it so  much that after only 2 days I joined. I spent a lot of timing building it, getting used to it and stocking it. We took  a lot of new pictures of our products and then we opened!

So...what do I love about it?

1. We can have more than 1 picture!! This is so more cramming 2-4 pictures into one!

2. If a product is sold out...a little sign will tell you! No more adding an item to the cart only to find out it is sold out!

3. When you click on an item to read more about it...the number available is shown. No more adding it to the cart to figure out how many are in stock.

4. When trying to figure out the shipping costs you used to have to fill in your entire address. Now, just choose your country and it will show you the shipping cost.

5. On the front page you can clearly see what is in your cart and what the sub total is.

Those are just some of the features we love!  There are so many more!

Anyway, we are thrilled and are planning to really build this store up big. We will be adding not just more bento goods but Japanese vintage, supplies like traditional stickers and rubber stamps and much much more! So stay tuned.

The one downside to changing hosts is that for those of you who made an account on our old store, that account won't work now so you will have to make another one. Sorry! We know it is inconvenient so to not only say sorry for that but to also celebrate our new and improved store we are offering 10% off to anyone who shops with us from today until September 18th, 2014. Just add the discount code fromjapanwithlove10 into the discount code area and you will get 10% off your items! No minimum amount required!

Monday, July 14, 2014

I LOVE this video!

I was going to write a big long blog post but I think the video says it all! I will say that I got teary eyed watching it. Powerful stuff!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rice Pizza from Pizza Pockets

I'm guessing that when you saw the title of this blog post that you thought the same thing I did....a normal looking pizza crust made from rice flour. Nope!! This is literally pressed rice with toppings. They have 3 versions - 2 are seafood and one is kind of like Korean barbecue with veggies and cheese. I ordered the meat version and....

... was ok. I wasn't exactly pizza....meat, veggies and cheese on rice sums it up. And it isn't cheap! A medium size (25 cm wide or 9.8 inches) is about $19. Will I order it again? No. But I'm glad I tried it.

Here is the video. the lady talking basically is saying that "rice is rice and pizza is pizza and the 2 shouldn't mix" but then she and hubby try it and like it.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

This week in pictures

After posting my last blog post, I got sick with a sinus infection. Ugh! I took Monday off but went to work the rest of the week. I'm feeling much better now. So, because of being sick, I didn't do too much. Here are some pics from my week.

It is summer here (actually it is rainy season but summer will start soon) and so it is Yukata season! These are worn mostly to festivals like firework festivals etc.

Also at the mall I saw this shop  "family studio" where you can take your kids and have pictures taken of them in cute traditional clothes. 

Sometimes at the mall, there are special days where vendors come in and make and sell special food. This one is for "taiyaki" (a pancake like cake filled with things like sweet beans, custard and even savory things like hamburgers or eggs). These taiyaki are filled with "anko"- sweet beans. My hubby bought some (he's the guy in the picture).

It is also gift giving season (traditionally in summer and winter) so you can choose from many kinds of gifts. There are gift  boxes with things like jams, cooking oils, sweets, meats, coffee etc. You just fill out the paperwork and they will have it delivered for you. 

Tanabata star festival (see here for my blog post about it in more detail) is on Monday (July 7th) so there are decorations everywhere! 

Oh and here are some lovely sunflowers from the flower shop that moved into the building where I work.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

What a great day in Fukuoka City!

Today was fun! I met up with my friend Phee and we went to get our hair cut. Our hairdresser, Rod, is from France and has been in Japan for a very long time....well over 20 years. Here we are (before getting our hair cut). I'm on the right. 

His hair salon is cool! There is even a chandelier! 

A colorful closet for our bags.

The chandelier!

After getting our hair cut we went into Tenjin ( an area in the middle of Fukuoka city) to meet with my friend Kristin. We sat around Starbucks chatting. Then Kristin and I walked to her car so I took some pics of what I saw on the way there.

As it was getting late, Yatai food stall were being set up. These are super popular in Tenjin and when my friend in Tokyo comes to Fukuoka city, she always goes to one. There are many of these along the wide sidewalks.

Then we walked by a shrine.

Then we walked by a place where a Canada Day party was being held! Happy Birthday Canada!! They were serving Canadian beer, poutine, lobster and more and one lucky person will win a free flight to Vancouver!

While we were driving home I saw this pagoda and had to take a picture! 

Kristin and I ended the day with yakiniku! Yakiniku is basically Korean barbeque-you grill the meat at your table. As it was Saturday night and we didn't have reservations, it took going to 3 restaurants before finding one that had space for us. And we still had to wait about 15 minutes which I know isn't long and certainly better than the 1.5 hour wait at a different yakiniku place but at this point we were beyond hungry so 15 minutes sure felt long lol.
But it was soooooo worth the wait! Super delicious!!

Thanks Kristin and Phee for a lovely day!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

After the cute bus stop.....

So to continue my story from the last post.... After seeing the cute cat bus stop, my friend Kristin took me to this cute shrine which was up a large hill. No one was there so we looked around and I snapped many pictures!

The gates leading to the shrine.

Gorgeous bamboo in the gates-maybe they put candles in the the holes.

Water running down from the mountain.

After entering through the gates:


Can you see the koi? They were big!

From the shrine you can see the valley below.

From here we went to "inunaki damu" or "crying dog dam"
but on the way we saw some lovely tiered rice fields.

And here is the dam. We wanted to cross it but the walkway was closed.

In the parking lot, I saw this van and had to take a picture. Apparently you can hire "brains" in Japan.....perhaps if you don't have any?! lol.

Did you notice the guy is sleeping? There were a few cars and trucks parked at the dam and everyone was sleeping!

So after our mini side trip we went to the mall and enjoyed a drink at Starbucks and did a little shopping. It was a great day! Thanks Kristin!!


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